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Driver 'must carry coffin photo'

Crime Punishment Pennsylvania

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#41 Raina

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 04:32 AM

I don't even see what she's complaning about. She could just stick it in the back of her wallet and forget it's even there (unfortunately).

I'm of the mind that people who drink and drive should get much stiffer penalties than they do. I mean, they destroy lives!!! And I'm not just talking about the people who die: I'm talking about the people they leave behind, and the people who are left with injuries (sometimes devastating) as a result of a drunk driver.

http://www.helpjacqui.com
This is a site about a girl whose life was utterly destroyed by a drunk driver. Iirc, 2 of her friends were killed in that crash, and the driver got less than 10 years in prison. He robbed 2 people of decades of their lives and left Jacqui completely dependant on her father, crippled, in constant physical and emotional pain, and hideously deformed. And for that he only has to sit behind bars for 10 years.

Now I do realize that driving drunk is a mistake which some people make, but sometimes the consequences can be so devastating to so many people that justice has to be served. No matter what the Western justice system can dish out, I don't think it's anything compared to what victims of drunk driving and their friends/families can go through.

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#42 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 09:41 AM

Uncle Sid, on Jan 15 2004, 12:58 AM, said:

I think you completely misinterpreted what I'm saying.  I'm not at all suggesting that people get to walk away from crimes without suitable punishment.  I just want that punishment to be effective.  Prison simply isn't in all cases.  It's got it's place, certainly, but in this case?  A single mother of two children?  What possible state interest is served by sticking her in jail for ten years and having those kids grow up in foster care?  If this lady is a repeat offender or an alcoholic, then further steps are necessary, and certainly she should be riding the bus for the rest of her natural life, but other than that, what's the point?  Even though she's fully responsible for her actions, she's not a mafia hitman who *needs* to be behind bars because she kills with intent. 

I am certainly not thinking of her benefit in this, that's for certain.  I do feel strongly about people who drive irresponsibly.  However, I think we need to open up what we consider a proper deterrent, because prison and certainly fines don't cut it.  In prison, there's too much of an attitude of acceptance, you're constantly among people who are also guilty, so no one looks down on you.  Put that person in the real world and give them a visible reminder and perhaps a social one as well, and you'll have much more effectively modified behavior.
Perhaps I did misinterpret your post, if so then I apologize. For the most part I was sort of agreeing with your comments, but when I got to "Further, as I said before, there are other things to consider in that. This person has kids. In all cases, society is better off with the parent at home instead of doing hard time in prison. In many ways, I think prison for some classes of people is almost as bad as torture

I had to disagree. Because, to me, it seemed you were saying that "For some classes of people" meant those who had kids. Should Andrew Fastow not have to go to prison because he has children??? What about other people who have children? What about a murderer who has a child at home? Should that murderer then be allowed to serve community service as oppossed to prison? Where do you draw the line?

Yes, I'll grant society would be better off with the parents at home, but that's just not possible when it comes to crime. If a person shoots and kills another they SHOULD go to jail. Not be given 30 days, then given the option of carrying around a photo of their victim. A photo they could easily put in the back of their purse/wallet and forget about.

As for alternative punishment, I'm all for that...What is that device where they put the person's hand, and head in, then left them standing in the town square??? Is that the type of alternative punishment you were referring to? If so, then I'm all for it.

I guess it's just the very notion that people are actually defending this murderer is what's getting me all riled up. I mean she deliberately KILLED! She is no different then a gunman going out and randomly shooting someone. IMO, she's NO DIFFERENT then the woman who left the guy she hit impaled in the windshield for days. And, yet, just because she has children people are saying that she shouldn't have to go to jail...she should be allowed back out into the community.

The mere fact that she is objecting, as I explained to Gode, tells me she isn't sorry...Well, actually she is...she's feeling sorry for herself. And to me that just doesn't cut it.

Edited by LORD of the SWORD, 15 January 2004 - 10:29 AM.

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#43 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 09:45 AM

Godeskian, on Jan 15 2004, 01:54 AM, said:

and i will reiterate, i have never, and will not suggest she gets to walk away from this.

sigh... i am going to walk away from this now (i know, i said that before, this time i mean it.)
Sorry you feel like you need to leave the thread. I'm curious though, if you don't mind posting once more, what you suggest for her?

I think we both agree that she shouldn't walk away from this. And while I'm sure our ideas of what would be justice in this case are going to be vastly different, I'm curious as to what you think would be an appropriate punishment?

edited to add:

Quote

LotS, i appreciate the explanation, please understand i was curious, not looking to disagree or even belabour the point.

No problem.

Edited by LORD of the SWORD, 15 January 2004 - 09:46 AM.

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#44 shambalayogi

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 10:29 AM

I don't find it cruel and unusual punishment.  I'd hope it's a constant enough reminder to keep her from drinking and driving.  And it's better than putting her in prison, for taxpayers paying for prison and for her.

Edited by shambalayogi, 15 January 2004 - 10:30 AM.

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#45 silverwind

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:04 AM

LotS, you are forgetting one *very* important division:

Murder implies intent.

Did she kill?  Yes, she did.  Was it stupid and wrong of her?  Yes.  But did she get in the car going "Gee, I think I'll run someone down tonight!"?  No.  There was no intent to kill, therefore calling it murder and calling her a murderer is incorrect and rather foolish.
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#46 Norville

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:35 AM

Quote

I'm of the mind that people who drink and drive should get much stiffer penalties than they do. I mean, they destroy lives!!!

Exactly right. In the case I mentioned in my previous post, the drunk driver killed three teens -- a brother and sister who had no siblings, so their parents lost both kids, and the girl's best friend, who was her father's only kid (and I believe that the mother had died some time back, if I'm remembering right). So the drunk could scream "Why me?!" all he wanted; I'm sure those parents were wondering "Why did he have to come into our lives?" He was an habitual drunk driver. When I still remembered his name, I know that I read that he went off and did it again afterwards, that time without killing anyone. I'm sure he's done it more than once again, if he's still alive 20+ years later.
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#47 Lover of Purple

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:45 AM

silverwind, on Jan 15 2004, 08:04 AM, said:

LotS, you are forgetting one *very* important division:

Murder implies intent.

Did she kill?  Yes, she did.  Was it stupid and wrong of her?  Yes.  But did she get in the car going "Gee, I think I'll run someone down tonight!"?  No.  There was no intent to kill, therefore calling it murder and calling her a murderer is incorrect and rather foolish.
But, people know that driving drunk may lead to an accident and possible death of someone. Therefore (again in my book) this person might as well have had intent. She knew what might happen and didn't care. As far as I'm concerned that is as bad as premeditated murder. I've seen way too many families destroyed by a drunk driver.

I don't think it as "getting revenge", to me it is more fitting the punishment to the crime. This person knew that someone could die yet went ahead and drove drunk. In a way a drunk is worse than someone who plans a murder. The planed murderer at least was thinking something about their victim (as wrong as that thought was), but the drunk doesn't care until after the fact and then it is usually just for themselves.

When one of my high school friends was killed by a drunk driver, the driver just kept complaining that my friend shouldn't have been out on the road. He never faced up to what he had really done,it was all about him.

No, I have no sympathy for this woman. She got off way to easy. And worse yet, she has children and still didn't care what might happen! She doens't need to teach her children the same disregard for life.

Edited by Lover of Purple, 15 January 2004 - 11:47 AM.


#48 G1223

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:57 AM

silverwind, on Jan 15 2004, 04:04 PM, said:

LotS, you are forgetting one *very* important division:

Murder implies intent.

Did she kill?  Yes, she did.  Was it stupid and wrong of her?  Yes.  But did she get in the car going "Gee, I think I'll run someone down tonight!"?  No.  There was no intent to kill, therefore calling it murder and calling her a murderer is incorrect and rather foolish.
So what would vbe the proper title for wonder brain here. Oh instead of murderer.   How about accident prone? Or accidently homicidial? Bad Driver? Why simply say Poor Judge of her own Character.

Basically She killed those people and needs to be hounded for the rest of her life for it. Why becasue a Child now a year old will never hear  it's Mother or Father talk to them.

#49 silverwind

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:04 PM

You know what?  Never mind.  I think I'll follow Gode's lead and just bow out of this. :whatsthat:
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#50 shambalayogi

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:19 PM

I hope she isn't literally * hounded for the rest of her life* for this incident. But I think at least for a few years after the incident carrying the picture of the victim should make her think before she does some things in life.

But if she has carried out the sentence imposed by the judge, then she should be allowed to have fulfilled her legal obligation for breaking the law.  And she should be allowed to live her life,  I'm assuming she regrets what happened as it is, without being constantly reminded of this mistake.
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#51 the 'Hawk

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:22 PM

G1223, on Jan 15 2004, 11:57 AM, said:

So what would vbe the proper title for wonder brain here. Oh instead of murderer.   How about accident prone? Or accidently homicidial? Bad Driver? Why simply say Poor Judge of her own Character.
The term is "involuntary manslaughter", and I used it in the opening post.

In order for it to qualify as premeditated murder, she had to have willful intent to go out and kill this man and his family. That doesn't mean "as good as having willful intent", it means she had to get into the car with the deliberate, pre-meditated intent of running someone down.

If she didn't, then at the very least, it's criminal negligence causing death. But since she was under the influence of alcohol at the time, it steps up to manslaughter-- she knew what she was doing was wrong, and said as much. If she had gone out with the intent of killing someone --even if she'd killed the wrong person-- it'd be vehicular homicide, and thus, murder. But it doesn't appear that way.

Do I think she's getting off easy? Yes. But the very reason there are levels to the law in matters like this is precisely because of the specificity of terms like manslaughter, murder and so on.

Yet each of these things has a recommended jail-time sentencing for a reason. Because making someone bring around the dead person's picture in their wallet like an albatross around their neck doesn't make them remorseful-- it makes them resentful.

What's cruel about it is that she'll come to hate her victim for getting in her way. Not because of what will come of her in the long run. She'll blame the man whose picture is in her wallet. There's no justice in that.

I really think the judge dropped the ball on this one, plain and simple.

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#52 G1223

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:37 PM

Hawk in the states it's called Vehiclular Homocide.  We made the charge as a way to seperate Drunk drivers from the guy who had a wreck and killed someone.

#53 the 'Hawk

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:40 PM

^ Don't tell me what it's called in the States. I know perfectly well what it's called.

Vehicular homicide is still homicide--- thus, intent (silverwind made this point-- pay attention) is called into play.

There was no intent to kill. It was not vehicular homicide.

If I rev my engine and run someone down, and laugh as the blood spatters my muffler, then it's vehicular homicide.

There was no such intent in this case. Therefore, it is not vehicular homicide.

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#54 G1223

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:41 PM

Shamba from her behavior I get the impression she is only sorry that  she is getting punished.

As to the hounded part  Why not  she did these things with disreguard for anyone else. She was not thinking of her children she could have just as easily smacked into a telephone pole and died. Then she would have left her children to her parents more than likely.

She did not care one bit for anyone other than herself and her actions show it.

#55 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:50 PM

silverwind, on Jan 15 2004, 11:04 AM, said:

LotS, you are forgetting one *very* important division:

Murder implies intent.

Did she kill?  Yes, she did.  Was it stupid and wrong of her?  Yes.  But did she get in the car going "Gee, I think I'll run someone down tonight!"?  No.  There was no intent to kill, therefore calling it murder and calling her a murderer is incorrect and rather foolish.
You're correct. I stand corrected.
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#56 GiGi

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 01:03 PM

One of my neighbors got into a fatal crash, while drunk and speeding in our neighborhood.  She killed two teenage girls, who were the grand daughters of one of my clients.

I saw the pain from both sides, as I knew the families of the victims and the drunk driver who also had two very young kids (age 3 & 4)  The woman who was driving drunk is now in prison and won't see her kids grow up.  Her husband and his sister are raising them.  My client lost two beautiful grand daughters who were model students.

Bottomline, cars are deadly, and ANYONE can get killed at anytime while driving in one, either drunk or sober.  I have been almost hit by people driving while talking on their damn cell phone!!!

I don't know if there are any answers, as to the women in question she will pay on some level for the rest of her life, consciously or unconsciously she knows she killed two people and orphaned a child.  Nothing can wipe that away.

I think that carrying the picture is proper punishment and I didn't read the article, but isn't it the choice she made (through a plea bargin) so she can stay out of jail?  If she doesn't like it, then she should go to jail instead.  I agree with LoP, that alternatives are needed to jailing drunk drivers, like house arrest or something that takes the burden off an already overtaxed prision system.
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#57 Rhea

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 01:19 PM

silverwind, on Jan 15 2004, 09:04 AM, said:

LotS, you are forgetting one *very* important division:

Murder implies intent.

Did she kill?  Yes, she did.  Was it stupid and wrong of her?  Yes.  But did she get in the car going "Gee, I think I'll run someone down tonight!"?  No.  There was no intent to kill, therefore calling it murder and calling her a murderer is incorrect and rather foolish.
ANY TIME A LICENSED DRIVER GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL AFTER DRINKING THEY *KNOW* THAT THEY MAY INJURE OR KILL THEMSELVES OR SOMEBODY ELSE. PERIOD. (and yes, I'm yelling).

The reason I'm yelling is the implication that somehow driving drunk means you had less intent to kill than if you picked up a weapon and shot someone, and that's just b*llsh*t.

A car weighing several thousand pounds is a weapon. And driving drunk is simply unforgivable. I have a friend who lost his leg thanks to a drunk driver. I've suffered my entire adult life thanks to a drunk driver.

Why does it still happen? *BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK DRUNK DRIVING IS HARMLESS*

There cannot possibly be an adult who is licensed who has not been taught that when you drink your reflexes and ability to concentrate are impaired.

Edited by Rhea, 15 January 2004 - 01:20 PM.

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#58 Chrys

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 01:48 PM

Quote

I have been almost hit by people driving while talking on their damn cell phone!!!


If I read the information correctly this woman is guilty of driving drunk while talking on a 'phone.
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#59 the 'Hawk

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 02:22 PM

Rhea, on Jan 15 2004, 01:19 PM, said:

ANY TIME A LICENSED DRIVER GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL AFTER DRINKING THEY *KNOW* THAT THEY MAY INJURE OR KILL THEMSELVES OR SOMEBODY ELSE. PERIOD. (and yes, I'm yelling).
But that's not the same as having intent.

Any time I get behind a car, sober or drunk (not that I'd ever be drunk, since I don't drink anyway), I have the potential for killing someone.

The intent required has to be malicious in nature. Negligence and malice aren't the same thing. I'm not going to sit here and split hairs at you over whether in this case she was either negligent or malicious, obviously, but knowing that you may hurt someone, and acting with the intent to hurt someone, are different.

Quote

The reason I'm yelling is the implication that somehow driving drunk means you had less intent to kill than if you picked up a weapon and shot someone, and that's just b*llsh*t. A car weighing several thousand pounds is a weapon.

I certainly agree with you there-- but a knife is a weapon, too. An axe is a weapon. The Internet is a weapon. All can be used for harm-- but it still comes back to intent. Did I do it accidentally, due to negligence, or with malicious intent? Impairment of judgement and the other host of effects of drunkenness lie in one direction, and pre-meditated malice lies in another.

I wish the law thought the way you does-- drunk driving needs to be punished as one of the harshest crimes we have. But unless that murderous intent can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the rule of law tends against that punishment.

Quote

Why does it still happen? *BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK DRUNK DRIVING IS HARMLESS*

And, again, being willfully blind to the consequences, and being hell-bent on making those consequences come to life, are not the same.

Quote

There cannot possibly be an adult who is licensed who has not been taught that when you drink your reflexes and ability to concentrate are impaired.

But there are. There really are.

And even then, education doesn't always take. The only way we can really bring home the consequences of drunk driving is in some sort of "eye for an eye" retribution. But that's not justice.

There's nothing we can do that can offer adequate restitution, under the law, to a victim of a drunk driver. But (and I'm not saying you're doing this, Rhea, this is a more general comment), we can't allow ourselves to suspend the rule of law, the necessity of reasonable doubt, all those conventions of the justice system, in order to get the drunk drivers.

I know that's going to sound downright cold, one of those "clearly I've never gone through it if I can say it" sorts of things, and I apologize for that. There's nothing I can do but acknowledge that I'm aware of how this post reads. And yeah, it's easy for me to say. But that's all I can do.

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#60 Rhys

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 03:07 PM

Agreed, there's a difference between deliberately setting out to kill someone, and doing something you know is dangerous because you think "it can't happen to me".

Now, perhaps the system is too lenient on the latter sort makes sense - in fact, I'd be willing to agree to that, especially for things like drunk driving, where no one should be able to legitimately claim that they don't know any better - they just think "that happens to other people, not me."  It would be one thing if the driver was impaired because of some bizarre side effect of something otherwise harmless (say, a drug interaction that they weren't properly informed of, or which had not been anticipated), but the hazards of drunk driving are well-advertised.

Claiming "they're the same thing" really weakens the case, because they're clearly not.  Saying "they may be different, but they have the same effect" - that carries some weight.

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